US President Joe Biden will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday to discuss issues such as Russia’s war in Ukraine, the White House has announced.
Beijing has refused to condemn its close ally Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, while blaming the United States and NATO’s eastward expansion for the heightened tensions.
“The two leaders will discuss the management of competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern,” the White House said in a statement.
China is under intense diplomatic pressure from the United States and its European allies to draw its lifeline from an isolated Russia. But three weeks after invading Ukraine, Beijing has shown few signs of abandoning its Kremlin friends.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Communist Party’s chief diplomat, met this week at a hotel in Rome for what a White House statement described as a “substantial “.
The United States then expressed concern about what it called the “alignment” between Russia and China.
Moscow and Beijing have moved closer together in what Washington sees as an increasingly hostile alliance of authoritarian nuclear powers.
US-China talks in Rome aimed to test the depth of China’s commitment to Russia as it struggles to defeat Ukraine, with images of bomb-scarred buildings and refugees fleeing by the millions horrifying the world.
Since war broke out, China has refused to condemn Putin’s actions – or even to portray the invasion as a war.
Instead, just last week, Beijing called the partnership between the two countries “rock-solid”.
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